What’s cooking today: Roasted caramelised shallots

What’s cooking today: Roasted caramelised shallots
Tony Jackman’s roast shallots. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Chefs prefer shallots for their milder, sweeter flavour, as simple as that. They have an elegance on the palate that a strident white onion lacks.

Shallots are superb for caramelising, as I did in the recipe here for roasted caramelised shallots with thyme and Mauritius dark muscovado sugar. Or roast them with balsamic vinegar, and use them (roasted, caramelised) in a rustic tart. Or, instead of roasting in the oven, you can cook them in oil and/ or butter in a heavy pan on the stove top, with plenty of shaking to move and toss them around for even cooking.


8 smallish shallots, peeled 

6 to 8 small garlic cloves, whole

4 Tbsp olive oil 

3 or 4 thyme sprigs 

2 or 3 Tbsp Mauritius dark muscovado sugar (or similar flavourful dark sugar; alternatively, drizzle with real honey) 

Salt to taste 

Black pepper to taste 


Peel the shallots and place them whole in a shallow, well oiled oven dish. (I used a simple enamel one.) Pop the garlic in between as well as the thyme sprigs. Sprinkle Mauritius muscovado sugar over and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle more olive oil over the shallots. Roast in a preheated 220℃ oven for an hour or more, or until the shallots are golden and soft inside, shaking the pan every 15 minutes or so and tossing the shallots around to even their cooking. Serve as a side dish to meat or use them as a component of a stew, added right at the end to heat through before serving. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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